This disease is a deterioration of the macula, the portion of the retina that allows us to see the fine details in the center of the visual field. There are two types of ARMD: "wet" and "dry". "Wet" ARMD, the most serious form, accounts for only about 10 percent of all cases of macular degeneration but is a leading cause of blindness in the elderly.
How it Strikes
"Wet" ARMD is caused by fragile, abnormal blood vessels that grow beneath the macula. These fragile blood vessels tend to leak and bleed, causing swelling and permanent scarring and a loss of central vision.
Wet ARMD can occur on its own, but in a small percentage of cases it can develop during advanced stages of dry ARMD.
Macular degeneration results in a gradual loss of central vision. Signs may appear blurry, faces may become hard to recognize, and straight lines may appear wavy. Bright light may be required for reading.
Although there is no way to completely restore vision lost to macular degeneration, doctors may be able to slow its progression and perhaps even improve sight. Treatment options may include drugs, laser treatments or a combination of the two.
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